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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iowa Independent: USDA nixes CRP 'early-out' proposal

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has backed away from a proposal to release more conservation lands for crop production. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced Tuesday that the USDA will not move forward with a plan to allow landowners a penalty free "early-out" of Conservation Reserve Program contracts. Schafer said that the proposal was deemed unnecessary after reviewing the current condition of crops and feedstocks around the country. In a press conference held Tuesday, Schafer said grain prices have dropped in recent weeks, easing pressure on livestock feed markets and lessening the need for any further steps to be taken at this time.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Tim Pawlenty speaks on remaining competitive in a global economy

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

I am attending the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual meeting, and listened to VP contender Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota, deliver a speech over the noon hour. Pawlenty laid out a plan for America to remain competitive in a global economy. He believes we can't compete in regard to either cost (other countries pay too low for labor) or volume (other countries have a far bigger population). But he believes we have a competitive advantage when it comes to intelligence and innovation as long as we reform our education system and maintain a commitment to freedom.

Iowa Guy 2.0: This is your congressman (4)

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have waited a long time to question Doug Feith. Mr. Feith is the former Number 3 man at the Pentagon and was the brains behind the false claims of Iraq's WMDs, torture policy and other administration misadventures and lies. On July 15th, Mr. Feith was subpoenaed to testify before the Judiciary Committee. It appeared that the Committee and American citizens were finally going to get some answers to questions we've been asking for a long time. But the Judiciary Committee didn't count on Iowa's own Steve King (R - Insufferable). As soon as the chairman gaveled the hearing to order with the usual words, "without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess...." Steve King chimed in, raising an objection to giving unanimous consent to the chair.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Iowa Defense Alliance: Iowa Family PAC and Danny Carroll: Marriage Defenders

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance
... This PAC provides support for Iowa Family Issues by locating pro-family candidates to back during the election cycle. So if you are a pro-family voter and are not quite sure who you can donate your money to who will further your cause, donate to the Iowa Family PAC because their job is to locate these candidates and financially support them. One of the candidates from this election cycle that this PAC highlighted is Danny Carroll who is going after the seat in the Iowa House in district 75 (Grinnell area). ... Why was Carroll targeted? Because he was a rising pro-family star who had guided a state marriage amendment to passage in the Iowa House (the first step to putting it on the ballot). It was put into motion to ban gay marriage and Tim Gill made sure that Danny and other politicians like him were stopped.

Price of Politics: Boz is back ... Where is Schmett?

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics
3rd District Congressman Leonard Boswell put together a little thank you for the thank yous he received during his latest hospital stint. To borrow a phrase from one of the producers in our news room..."he was still in the hospital?" Boswell spent two weeks in the D.C. hospital for what, we don't know. ... Where has Boswell's Republican challenger been all this time? Other than his official announcement, has Kim Schmett held any type of event? I sure don't remember any. It's interesting that Republicans complain constantly that Boswell has never accomplished much in Congress, yet they can't seem to beat him.

Bleeding Heartland: How many heads will roll at the University of Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
I have to believe that a few people at the University of Iowa will lose their jobs when the St. Louis law firm hired to examine the university's handling of an alleged sexual assault turns in its report: ... The University's president, Sally Mason, doesn't need any extra headaches this summer, when flooding caused unprecedented devastation on campus. At least 20 major buildings connected to the university were damaged. But if alleged crimes committed by athletes are not thoroughly investigated and prosecuted, there will be long-term damage to the university's reputation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Iowa Independent: Exclusive: Hubler hires Joe Trippi in race against King

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

"Divisive rhetoric and embarrassing headlines by Washington
politicians like Steve King is not the answer," said Trippi... Western
Iowa Democratic congressional candidate Rob Hubler has inked a
comprehensive consulting agreement with high-profile strategist Joe
Trippi, a chief handmaiden in the birth of modern Internet politics
who four years ago helped to propel Howard Dean from relative
obscurity to leading presidential contender. Hubler told Iowa
Independent just moments ago that the deal is now final and that Joe
Trippi & Associates, based in suburban Washington, D.C., will serve as
the primary media consultant and assist with crafting television,
print and radio messages in the sprawling 5th Congressional District.

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Century of the Common Iowan: SD 22: Sodders holds large money advantage

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

The latest fund raising reports were filled on July 19 and they show
Steve Sodders holding a large money advantage over Jarret Heil in
Senate District 22. Sodders raised $11,510 and has $48,391 on hand,
while Heil raised $7,180 and has $8,116 on hand. The race to replace
the retiring Larry McKibben is predicted to be tight, but the $40,000
advantage in campaign funds puts Sodders in great shape to pick up a
seat for the Democrats in the State Senate. Senate District 22 covers
Marshall and Hardin Counties.

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Politics + Protesters = Postville absurdity

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

Postville, IA. A small town in Iowa now well known- not for flood or
tornado damage but, according to the May 12, 2008 Des Moines Register,
as the site of "the largest work place raid in Iowa history. "(Now the
"largest workplace immigration raid in U.S. history." DM Sunday
Register, July 27, 2008). Postville with a population estimated to be
2,000 in July of 2006. The home of Agriprocessors Inc. Much
information has been in the news about the raid, strong feelings for
and against what U. S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement did on
that May 12 day and what has happened in the ten weeks following the
raid. Reading accounts in the newspapers and hearing reports on the
radio leaves me with a wide variety of thoughts and emotions.

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John Deeth Blog: Jim Leach's wife donates $1000 to Obama

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Elisabeth Leach, wife of former Iowa Republican Congressman Jim Leach,
donated $1,000 to Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign on
June 30, the quarterly reporting deadline. Elisabeth Leach listed her
occupation as art historian and author on the Federal Election
Commission campaign finance report. Her works include Grant Wood: The
Artist in the Hayloft, published in 2004. The June donation was
Elisabeth Leach's second donation of at least $250 to Obama. She also
donated $250 on March 24. Jim Leach was considered the most moderate
Republican in Congress during much of his 30-year tenure. He lost his
seat to Democrat Dave Loebsack in one of 2006's biggest upsets.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Iowa Defense Alliance: Oh really, Mary Lundby?!?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

Delivered to my door via The (Ames) Tribune: "Party veterans: GOP
stresses social issues too much." Well, that got my skimming the news
down to actually reading an entire article. It was well worth my time.
According to Mary Lundby, former Iowa Senate Republican leader, many
GOP voters in Iowa are more worried about the economy and energy
prices than they are about social issues including abortion or gay
rights. Lundby also asserts that the state party's central committee
has given a short shrift to other topics in favor of social issues and
that could turn off voters. "Voters have got so many other issues on
their minds, and when you only coalesce on those (social) issues, you
lose those voters in the chatter, and we can't afford that."

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The Real Sporer: Hoffmann illustrates the need for change

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Ex-chairman Ray Hoffmann yesterday once again reminded Iowa
Republicans of the real source of the current revolution amongst Iowa
Republicans. Hoffmann has spent his entire political career presenting
himself as a pro-life social conservative. Hoffmann's remarks during
the five years of my personal experience serving with Hoffmann on the
State Central Committee indicated that he strongly opposed homosexual
marriage rights. Yet Hoffmann now publicly attacks the newly elected
RNC members as overly emphasizing just those issues. The Iowa
Republican Platform has been both pro-life and opposed to homosexual
marriage rights since at least 2002.

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Bleeding Heartland: Please tell me this is someone's idea of a joke

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I've written before that I think it would be a huge mistake for Barack
Obama to select any Republican for a running mate. The next president
will appoint at least two and perhaps four Supreme Court justices.
Obama is a longtime smoker with a family history of cancer. I don't
want any Republican in line to inherit the presidency. And I've
written that I think it would backfire for him to choose a woman other
than Hillary Clinton for vice president. Not that I have anything
against Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (I would give her serious
consideration if she ran for president someday). But I agree with a
MyDD commenter who wrote that for Obama to pick Sebelius or Missouri
Senator Claire McCaskill would be like Hillary picking Harold Ford as
a running mate if she had won the nomination.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Show me the money

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I was listening to WHO the other day when a top of the hour news
report came on by Jim Boyd. One of the items he was reporting on was
Governor Culver's trip to D.C. to ask for assistance. The report
featured a Culver proudly saying he had requested 1.2 billion dollars.
The weird thing is I almost expected the Big Lug to say that billion
with a "B". Anyway, I didn't really think much more about it till I
read today's article in the Register stating that the American Red
Cross thinks Culver's number is inflated, not by a little bit, but by
50% or so. Now, I'm all for Iowa getting its fair share, but I don't
think it is right to fleece the American taxpayer for more than we
need.

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Bleeding Heartland: Some thoughts on Repealthesmokingban.org

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

William Meyers is obviously passionate about politics and willing to
spend lots of time volunteering for political causes, which is
commendable. But I am hard-pressed to think of any activist who has
applied himself in a more self-defeating and counter-productive way
than Meyers. First he declared himself an independent candidate for
Congress after losing the fourth district primary--a move I still
think he will regret someday. Now I learn from Iowa Independent that
Meyers has launched a new website against Iowa's smoking ban. I spent
a little time on repealthesmokingban.org. The "leaders" page lists
Meyers as the founder and online coordinator of
Repealthesmokingban.org and former Republican State Senator George
Eichhorn as the attorney representing bar and restaurant owners who
are fighting the ban.

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Battleground Iowa: Ted Kennedy is more honest than Leonard Boswell

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

So, I'm listening to the radio this morning, and there was a little
one sentence news blurb telling me than Leonard Boswell will be
leaving the hospital tomorrow. Did anyone else realize that he was
even still in the hospital? That means he has been in the hospital for
TWO WEEKS. Of course, we still don't really know what's going on with
him because he won't tell us anything, just that it was a "routine"
procedure. What kind of "routine" procedure requires two weeks in the
hospital? What's the deal Boz? Why won't you tell us what's going on
with you? Ted Kennedy has brain surgery, and we know so much about it,
it feels like we're on the hospital staff. Leonard Boswell has
surgery, and you have to be a member of the CIA to know what's going
on.

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Politically Speaking: Fundraising for Iowa Legislature

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Tomorrow we're running a recap of the campaign fundraising for
Northwest Iowa candidates for the statehouse. House Minority Leader
Christopher Rants -- unsurprisingly, given his 16-year status as a
bigwig in the Legislature -- blows the doors off all other
officeseekers. In fact, his $120,000 in 2008 might be roughly the same
amount as the other 20-some candidates combined. Seriously. Rants is
one major fundraiser, and in a release earlier this week he noted the
Republican leadership holders outraised their Democratic counterparts
by 2-to-1. Overall, for the reporting period through July 19, Rants
noted that Republican statehouse candidates had $1,177,107 in cash on
hand, compared to $1,164,602, for a narrow lead that Rants termed "a
key indicator of campaign strength."

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

24-Hour Dorman: Blame it on the Arkansas rain

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

So how did that infamous mold get into FEMA trailers, the ones being
pulled out of Eastern Iowa at the stern request of Lt. Gov. Patty
Judge? Blame it on Arkansas rain, according to William Vogel, FEMA's
top man in Iowa. He visited The Gazette today along with Judge and
other officials. It's really very simple. While the mobile homes sat
in Hope, Ark., rainwater gathered in a trough formed by a rubber seal
that was supposed to protect an external compartment holding a water
heater. That rainwater "wicked" up through porous fiberboard, Vodel
said. With little or no ventilation in the sealed compartment, viola,
you have a perfect place for mold. Glad that's settled. But a few
other issues are still a little fuzzy.

Iowa Independent: Anti-smoking ban site launched by 4th District Congressional candidate

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Independent Congressional candidate William Meyers, who lost his
district's Democratic primary last month, has launched a new Web site
he hopes will become the focal point for the movement to repeal the
recently enacted statewide smoking ban. The site attacks most
Democrats in both chambers of the state legislature. The site,
RepealTheSmokingBan.org, officially went live earlier today. Meyers
said he is currently operating it on his own but hopes in the coming
days to contact interested parties who are working to overturn the ban
to inform see if they would be interested in utilizing the site to
unify the movement on a statewide basis. "I want to donate the site to
groups trying to get this terrible law overturned," Meyers said.

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John Deeth Blog: Changes in law make ballot challenges harder

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Changes in state law which kicked in on July 1 will make it harder to
challenge the qualifications of voters, a change which may affect the
efforts of Iowa Republicans to, as they've put it, "insure ballot
integrity." Ballot challenge programs are a relatively new feature to
Iowa politics. The number of challenged and provisional ballots have
risen dramatically since 2000, as the Democratic Party has ramped up
its absentee voter program to the point where some counties are now
seeing nearly half their ballots voted before Election Day. As one of
the closest states in the nation at the presidential level, and one of
only three states to switch sides between 2000 and 2004, efforts on
the margins can make the difference.

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Essential Estrogen: Ruth Harkin goes to bat for Becky Greenwald

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Ruth Harkin, wife to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, sent a message to friends
this week in support of 4th District Congressional candidate Becky
Greenwald. In the letter, Harkin, who is a resident of the 4th
District, tells friends that "we have been waiting for a Democrat to
represent us for many years, and this is the year we can make it
happen with Becky Greenwald." The letter goes on to provide links
recipients can click to make contributions to Greenwald's campaign. ...
Harkin goes on to provide a brief biographical sketch of Greenwald and
then gets to the "historical" aspect of the political contest:
"Lastly, I'm working to help Becky because this is our opportunity to
finally send a woman to Congress from Iowa."

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Mods v. SoCons: The war of words continues

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

When I read Beaumont's piece in the Register yesterday, I knew it
would stir the already festering pot. ... Here's the thing people need
to remember, especially the moderates who focus on fiscal issues
rather than social ones. The election of Scheffler and Lehman as our
national committee-people really isn't that big of a deal. Sure, it's
a moral victory for the social conservative grassroots, but there's
only so much national-committee people do. Scheffler and Lehman are
far more dangerous to these moderates in their roles as activists. As
activists, they can cajole legislators and perhaps even change some
hearts and minds.

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Krusty Konservative: Putting our words into action

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I'll be the first to admit, the internal struggles within the
Republican Party is frustrating, and something that I don't enjoy
writing about. So today we are going to address this topic in a
different way, putting your money where your mouth is. Yesterday, I
received a press release noting that the Iowa House Republicans hold a
slim lead in cash-on-hand over their Democrat opponents. "During the
reporting period, ending on July 14th, Republicans running for the
Iowa House had $1,177,107 cash on hand compared to the Democrat
candidates having banked $1,164,602. Republicans in leadership
positions out raised the Democrat leaders by nearly two to one and
reported twice as much cash on hand."

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Iowa Guy 2.0: This is your congressman (Live and in person, sort of)

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

Last night, we were settling in to watch Countdown on MSNBC when the
phone rang. The caller ID displayed an area code I was not immediately
familiar with. I almost ignored the call, but decided to see what it
was. A recorded voice told me that I was being invited to participate
in a live "Telecom Town Hall Meeting" with Congressman Steve King (R -
Appalling). After warning me that the system would hold my phone line
hostage for close to a minute after hanging up (I presume to lock in
on our address while the troops are dispatched) I was transferred to a
virtual conference call with the congressman talking to constituents,
one at a time. In very short order, it became apparent that I had been
invited to the wrong party.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Iowa Independent: Latham: Congressional Postville visit will offer firsthand glimpse into national immigration debate

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham is hopeful that an upcoming trip by the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus into Postville will allow more people to
witness the aftermath of the May 12 immigration raid in the community,
and allow policy makers to have a better understanding of the human
and economic tolls of such a federal action. "The members of the
Hispanic Caucus will have seen firsthand, number one, the effect of
the meatpacking plant owners and, what appears to be, them knowingly
having illegal people working there," Latham said in an interview with
Iowa Independent. "They will see the impact and the consequences of
that."

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Iowa Defense Alliance: Culver has a plan????

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

I was scanning my morning email when the title to a news article
caught my attention. The article in the Sioux City Journal is titled
"Culver: Flood recovery won't force other cutbacks". Now I am sitting
here at my computer thinking, okay then if we need more money for the
flood recovery efforts where is it going to come from. Then I dig into
the article some more and come across the information that he will not
cutback on some of Iowa's new spending programs. Hmm. I am thinking
what is he planning to do? Perhaps he is planning on raising taxes, we
know that Culver just loves to raise taxes, he is a good little
Democrat that way. After all we have been hearing rumblings that he
wanted to raise the gas tax to help pay for the necessary recovery
efforts. Just a little bit further in the article Culver ruled out
that possibility.

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John Deeth Blog: Democrat has big money edge in open House District 89

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Iowa House District 89 race, once again, features a young first
time candidate against an older contender with deep community ties.
But with the retirement of longtime incumbent Republican incumbent
Sandy Greiner, the parties have reversed roles. It's the Republicans
who have the young candidate with Jarad Klein, while the Democrats
have the older contender with Larry Marek. Marek rolled up a big fund
raising lead in the July 19 reports, with $14,924 cash on hand to
Klein's $3,131. But Klein is clearly a GOP priority, with his large
red and white signs on the highways of Washington County outnumbering
those for higher on the ticket Republican candidates.

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Krusty Konservative: We need to unite our fractured party

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I knew as I typed the words "big tent" yesterday I was asking for a
bunch of comments and messages in my inbox. If you were to come up to
me on the street and ask me if I was a big tent Republican I'd
probably give you weird look and tell you no. If asked what type of
Republican I am, I would tell you that I'm pro-life and
pro-traditional marriage. I'm a fiscal conservative who believes in
less regulation and lower-flatter and simpler taxes. I also believe
that America has a role to play in the world. I'm a Hawk who firmly
believes in peace through strength. I'm also an advocate of a limited
federal government. Our current policies are incrementally creating a
socialist nanny state that I don't want any part of. Simply put I'm a
Republican because I believe that every citizen of this country has
the personal responsibility to make this a better nation.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Real Sporer: Convention reform

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

As all of our regular readers know, there has been a lot of Internet
and real chatter and conflict about the proper purpose, function and
authority of our state conventions committees. What all the conflict
demonstrates with greatest clarity is the need to reform and improve
our convention process. TRS submits the following starting point for
that reform. District Conventions. Our existing five, and probably
four in the future, Congressional District Executive Committees are
grossly underutilized. Any real hope for party reform begins with
reactivating the District Committees. One crucial function of such
committees is running their share of the caucus to convention process.
The district committees can easily be given a schedule and a budget by
the SCC and otherwise be left entirely to their own devices as to how
each district runs its convention.

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HawkeyeGOP: State Central Committee -- Kum-bay-yah time

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

I am happy to report that this weekend's Republican State Central
Committee went off without the predicted fireworks. As I predicted in
my preview, none of the rumored actions took place. First, there was
no attempt to remove Stewart Iverson as party chairman. There were no
outbursts or challenges to Stewart's leadership. He did a great job
and his experience added important historical perspective to our
deliberations. Gopal. Many of the rumors and controversies surrounding
the SCC swirl around SCC treasurer Gopal Krishna. Rumors ranged from a
SCC sponsored motion to remove Gopal to Clinton County chair Nicole
Baker coming in-person to bring petitions calling for Krishna's
ouster.

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Essential Estrogen: CBS details plight of pseudo-detainees in Postville

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

In a segment the network dubbed "Postville Blues," CBS Evening News
(anchored by Forrest Saywer) highlighted the plight of some of some of
the immigrants that remain in the community while wearing immigration
tracking devices. ... The reporting does adequately describe the current
circumstance surrounding the immigrant women and their children as
well as the local churches -- especially St. Bridget's Catholic
Church. Maria Lopez, one of the women wearing the ankle tracking
devices, speaks through a translator to describe how plant workers
were given new documentation for price. It was an arrangement that she
says plant management was aware of and encouraged.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Iowa Defense Alliance: Porky

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

Earmarks. We have all heard that word. We all know what it means.
Earmarks are a form of government spending that has come under
scrutiny in recent time. They used to be called pork barrel spending,
but that name conjured visions of $500 hammers and $2,000 toilet
seats. So Congressional leaders felt that they had to change the name,
so along comes the term earmarks. Then that term acquires an ill
reputation, rightly so I might add. Then Congress in its almighty
wisdom changes the term that they use once more, this time to the
innocuous name discretionary spending. By any name it is still pork
barrel spending and it is bad business for a government to use this
system. Some consider it a form of bribery, I know that I do. I see it
as a way for Congressman to bribe their constituents to vote for them.

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John Deeth Blog: Brian White takes independent road in 2nd district

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Brian White is trying to take a tough road to the House of
Representatives, but he believes it's the best route. The 31-year old
attorney from North Liberty, running in the 2nd Congressional
District, is trying to become the first truly independent candidate
elected to the House in more than 50 years. "Nothing has changed in
Washington" since Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, White
told Iowa Independent. "And I'm the type of guy that when things
aren't going right, you do something about it." White deliberately
avoids party labels, but he sees former 2nd District congressman Jim
Leach as something of a role model, and interned for Leach one summer.
So, would White describe himself as a Jim Leach Republican? "Well,
without the Republican part," he said.

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Essential Estrogen: Agriprocessors supervisors: 'Not guilty'

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Two supervisors charged with encouraging workers to obtain and use
fraudulent documents in order to continue employment at Agriprocessors
in Postville pleaded "not guilty" in federal court. Martin De La
Rosa-Loera, 43, and Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, are both are
charged with aiding and abetting the possession and use of fraudulent
identity documents and encouraging aliens to illegally reside in the
U.S. Although court proceedings were scheduled to begin Thursday
morning at 9 a.m. in the temporary court facilities in Cedar Rapids, a
transportation snafu delayed the start of the hearings until later
that same day. The men, who are being prosecuted individually, have
obtained representation.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Iowa Political Alert: King antics block inquiry into Iraq WMD claims

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Political Alert

Republican 'Whispering and giggling' replace serious testimony on WMD,
torture... U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, successfully led Republican
delay tactics to block testimony of a former top Pentagon official on
weapons of mass destruction claims, torture and other issues at a
Tuesday hearing of the House Judiciary hearing. The hearing's intent
was to question Douglas Feith, once the No. 3 man at the Pentagon, and
an official closely linked with the WMD claims the Bush Administration
used to take American to war in Iraq -- as well as torture policies.
But The Washington Post reports that King led a group of Republicans
in a surprise attack of delay procedures to turn the hearing into
something of a circus so Feith could escape key questioning about his
alleged role in these matters.

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Price of Politics, Etc.: Steve King for governor?

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics, Etc.

Does Steve King want to run for Governor of Iowa in 2010? It sounds
like a "maybe". King told me he "is looking at it." He said "that
whatever duty calls, that's what I will do. But I've made no decision
yet. I go to bed at night without it on my mind. And I get up in the
morning and it's not always on my mind when I wake up." It's not
always on his mind. Hmmm. King said Culver has to take the blame (as
the head of the state) for the state spending way too much money since
he took over and for signing that smoking ban. King isn't a big fan
and thinks it's an unfair law since it sets different standards for
different businesses.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: McCain makes gain; causes Obama pain

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

The "topline" result of a national Presidential poll doesn't really
tell us much. The presidential race is won state-by-state through the
electoral college. But national media organizations don't have the
money to poll each state individually. So they do a national poll and
report the top line -- who is leading whom. However, you CAN learn
some things by studying the "crosstabs" -- the internal numbers broken
down by demographic group. And they aren't good for Obama -- his
enormous lead among crucial independent voters has dropped from 22
points to THREE. Obama only has a 44 to 40 edge in who is better to
handle the economy -- and is tied on that issue among independents.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Century of the Common Iowan: Supporters disagree with anti-union Republican Statehouse candidate

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Republican candidate for Iowa House, Jarad Klein, can't be too happy
with the results to his online poll on his campaign website. One of
Klein's top issues is keeping Iowa's Right to Work law and he links to
a Right to Work website on his website that advocates that... "No one
should be forced to pay tribute to a union in order to get or keep a
job." Klein has an online poll asking... "Legislation is being
proposed this session that would force all workers to pay union dues.
Do you support this measure?" As of Tuesday night, out of 72 votes, 53
people voted yes (74%) and just 19 people voted no (26%). Klein has to
be disappointed that almost 3/4 of the votes so far answered yes to
that question and are in favor of requiring all workers to pay for
services provided to them by unions.

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Krusty Konservative: Print 'em

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

From everything I've seen in the last few weeks I think McCain is
going to tab Romney as his running mate. It's a gut feeling more than
anything, but when you listen to McCain and certain states he brings
up on the stump, like Michigan, I too can see the value in putting
Romney on the ticket. While I'm one of those guys who would like to
see a new conservative face on the ticket, preferably from the south,
I think McCain and his team is looking for a known entity. Romney also
clearly wants the job as his people have done a tremendous job in
raising his name every single time this issue is raised. With Romney,
McCain gets a running mate who is younger, has strong connections to
states like Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and Utah, is a proven fundraiser,
and most importantly has shown the ability to stay on message, an
important trait in a VP nominee.

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Radio Iowa: Vilsack and the Polk County edge

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

About 200 people crowded into a room at the back of the Dos Rios
restaurant in downtown Des Moines after work today, at the invitation
of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign. Some of
the people in the room had supported Obama in the Caucuses, but the
event was for the rest -- those who had been keen supporters of other
candidates. The main focus was on carrying Polk County by a wide
margin. Joe Kennedy, Obama's regional field director for Polk County,
was the first to introduce himself to the crowd. Jackie Norris,
Obama's state director, was next. Norris began by praising those in
the room who had backed other candidates. "We all worked our hearts
out," Norris said of the Caucus campaign, ending with a plea for
precinct-level organizing for Obama.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Republican convention wrap up

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Coronation or Convention? If you think I'm referring to the victories
of the social conservatives at the state convention you are mistaken.
I'm referring to the fact that King was everywhere doing everything.
We all know that Congressman King would never miss a convention. While
some people think it's something to show your face at and escape, King
was camped out there morning, noon, and night which is nothing new for
our favorite congressman. King hosted a pancake breakfast before the
convention started on Saturday morning at Hy-Vee Hall, addressed the
crowed early in the morning, introduced 2nd CD candidate Mariannette
Miller-Meeks, spoke at the lunch, and was involved with every aspect
of the convention, even the junior delegates.

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HawkeyeGOP: GOP convention -- Loyalty oath

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

There has been a lot of buzz about a loyalty oath in the platform
passed at this weekend's State GOP Convention. At issue is the plank
7.9 which reads: "We believe candidates running as Republicans for any
local or state office should be required to complete and return to the
Republican Party of Iowa a signed questionnaire indicating whether the
candidate agrees, disagrees or is undecided about each plank of the
current party platform." This plank absolutely calls for a loyalty
oath. On the other hand neither RPI nor the State Central Committee
will consider such a thing. Having served on countless platform
committees, I can tell you that planks of this nature arise from a
frustration among the grassroots Republicans who create the platform.

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Price of Politics, Etc.: Director Gipp

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics, Etc.

Decorah Republican State Rep. Chuck Gipp now has a new title:
Director. Gipp finished up his nine-term career in the legislature
this spring. He seemed well-liked with his fellow Republicans, and for
what it's worth, he is well-respected in the media. Current Minority
Leader Chris Rants is usually a pretty easy soundbite. Let's just say,
he likes to speak his mind, which quite frankly, is nice for us in TV.
We need a guy who can express himself with a little emotion from time
to time. No doubt Gipp knew the issues when he was House Majority
Leader, but he was a far different soundbite than Rants. He didn't get
all riled up too easily. We had to work for a passionate soundbite
from him. Today, Gipp began his new job as Director of the Division of
Soil Conservation. It's a full-time gig that pays 85k.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Radio Iowa: Republican Party of Iowa holds state convention

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Things got off to a slow start. A gentleman strolled up to the
microphone to announce the following shortly after nine o'clock this
morning: "Who's ever in charge of seating arrangements, there are no
seats for Audubon County." (The chairs on the floor of Hy-Vee Hall --
the site of today's convention -- are arranged in rows, by county. A
few moments later, the same man made another announcement: "There are
no seats for Winnebago County either," he said, adding with a bit of
sarcasm: "This is the party of inclusion!" Some in the crowd clapped;
others laughed. A barbershop quartet sang the National Anthem,
followed by an attempt to get all the "junior delegates" to the
convention on stage so they could lead the Pledge.

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The Real Sporer: Congratulations to all of the winners -- especially Scheffy and Kimmy

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

For whatever strange reason, our state organizes most of its party
leadership during election years. Our leadership positions are now
resolved so let's focus on the winners. First, although Steve Roberts
wasn't reelected to the RNC, Steve Roberts is one of the great
Republicans of the last half-century. No one should minimize the
quality of his service or the value of his wisdom. Steve Scheffler has
the largest of any shoes we have had to fill since Terry Branstad left
Terrace Hill. Monster congratulations to my good friend Steve
Scheffler. It takes a lot to unseat a legend and Scheffy showed he has
it with convincing clarity. The win may very well define a new era.

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Iowa Politics Alert: Smoke ban hits council chambers over parks, golf courses and liquor licenses

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Politics Alert

Any small town Iowa city hall reporter knows that when council members
get to the routine liquor license renewals it is the rubber stamp of
all rubber stamps. All "aye" and on to the next item. Not so in
Clinton -- which seems to be something of a front line in a brewing
war over the Iowa smoking ban, with a local bar organization joining a
lawsuit to challenge the new law and several bars reportedly violating
it to keep angry customers from walking out the doors after half a
beer. At a recent city council meeting in Clinton one councilman used
a liquor-license renewal request for a bar, Paul's Tap, to report the
establishment for an alleged violation of the smoking ban the
councilman said he witnessed. The liquor license was approved but the
debate highlighted confusion over the ban and local government's role
in enforcing it.

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Bleeding Heartland: DCCC not reserving ad time in Iowa (for now)

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Late last week the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took
the unusual step of releasing detailed information about where they
plan to spend $34 million on television advertising this fall. Click
the link to read how much the DCCC says it will spend in each of 31
districts, only 12 of which are currently held by Democrats. As you
can see from the comment thread under this post at Swing State
Project, a lot of people are unhappy about winnable seats left off
this list. What about netroots hero Darcy Burner, who fell just short
in Washington's eighth district in 2006? Shouldn't Dan Seals get some
help in Illinois's tenth? Are we really going to give "Mean Jean"
Schmidt a pass in Ohio's second? I was disappointed not to see Iowa's
fourth district listed.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Sparks fly hours before Republican State Convention

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I had been planning a preview of the State Convention for today all
week, but after listening to Steve Deace's radio program yesterday I
had to throw away what I had prepared and start over. Yesterday Deace
spent two hours with State Party Chair Stewart Iverson, Polk County
Chair Ted Sporer, Iowa Right to Life Leader and Candidate for National
Committeewoman Kim Lehman, and Iowa Christian Alliance President and
Candidate for National Committeeman Steve Scheffler. All I can say
it's a good thing WHO's radio studios are nice and spacious because
that a lot of people with big egos in the same room at the same time.

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John Deeth Blog: 37 legislative seats uncontested by major parties

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

An uncontested political race is like a forfeit in sports. It helps
the won-loss record, but it's no fun for the fans and, even though
it's the other team's fault, feels vaguely unsportsmanlike. There's
125 ballgames this fall in the battle for the Iowa Legislature. More
players may yet get on the field, but as of the primary, one of the
big two teams is forfeiting the fight in 38 of those contests. Parties
have until Aug. 15 to nominate legislative candidates by convention.
Minor party and independent candidates have the same deadline.
Unopposed seats are a dirty little open secret of politics. Neither
political party responded to requests for a post-primary update.

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Essential Estrogen: Greenwald: More important to serve Iowa than to be first woman

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Hollywood may have thought it plausible fifty years ago, but, to date,
fictional Iowa Congresswoman Phoebe Frost continues to stand alone.
"It was a couple of years ago when I got up and turned on the
television," remembered Becky Greenwald, Democratic candidate for
Iowa's 4th Congressional District. "The set was on one of those old
movie stations and I began to watch this movie, directed by Billy
Wilder, from the late 1940s -- "A Foreign Affair" -- that featured a
young Iowa congresswoman who goes to Berlin to investigate something
just after World War II. I just thought, 'Oh, my gosh!' If Hollywood
thought it was possible in the late 40s, I guess we better get with
it."

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On the Campaign Trail: North to Alaska

Excerpted from this post at On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbets

Jeff Giertz, the spokesman for U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, says
he's taking a leave of absence for a few months to go work for
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in Alaska. That Braley
would let him go may say something about how competitively he sees
state Sen. David Hartsuch's challenge. Giertz was a familiar face in
the 2006 campaign against Mike Whalen. Iowa's 1st District is on the
Democrats' safe list, this isn't all that surprising. Hartsuch also
filed 2nd Quarter financials that showed him raising $16,655 for the
year, far short of the $640,000 Braley raised through mid-May.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Iowa Independent: Despite wide personnel gap, state GOP remains optimistic

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The Republican Party of Iowa will hold its state convention Friday and
Saturday, and with Iowa considered a battleground for both national
and state races, all eyes turn to Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines to see how
strong the state's minority party truly is. Republican officials are
outwardly optimistic about their chances this November to deliver the
state to GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and pick up seats
in the state Legislature. But they readily admit their party faces an
uphill struggle due in part to a large deficit in paid staff on the
ground around the state. According to reports filed the Federal
Election Commission on June 20, the Republican Party of Iowa had only
seven salaried employees on staff, compared to 28 for the state
Democrats (however, many of those employees were reassigned to work
strictly for the Obama campaign).

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Krusty Konservative: GOP national committeeman

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

One of the things I'm looking forward to at this weekend's Republican
Convention is the race for National Committeeman. As I wrote before,
my pick for the National Committeewoman is State Representative Sandy
Greiner. Many people thought that Steve Roberts, the current
Committeeman was going to be unopposed, but the rescheduling of the
convention due to the floods exposed Steve Scheffler's stealth
campaign for the spot. The race between Scheffler and Roberts
represents the classic battle between Conservative Activism
(Scheffler) vs. Moderate Establishment (Roberts). Both men have been
involved in Republican politics in Iowa for decades. Robert's cut his
teeth with Governor Ray, Scheffler made his mark as a conservative
activist with Pat Robertson.

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FromDC2Iowa: Where have you gone, Barack Obama?

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Just What Has Happened to Senator Obama? ... What is Obama doing to
himself, his campaign, and his one-time enthusiastic, hopeful young
supporters -- and why? And what options do his disaffected former
supporters now have? Seemingly everyone's asking, and it's coming at
me from all directions -- the chattering classes on cable, the
newspaper stories in hard copy and online, the blogs (especially the
comments in the FISA one on the Obama campaign Web site), comments on
this blog, conversations with friends -- and personal emails. Here are
excerpts from a couple from my inbox this morning. One speculates the
problem may be a switch in campaign staff since the primary.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Governor Gronstal?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Since returning home I've had a chance to catch up on the newspaper
and what I recorded while I was gone. One of the most interesting
political stories in Iowa that is out there is Governor Culver's feud
with the employee unions. Last weekend Iowa Press showcased two union
leaders their frustration with Governor Culver was obvious. Then I saw
yesterdays milk carton story, which my friend Nathan wrote about over
on Battleground Iowa. It seems to me that big labor is responding to
the Yepsens of the world who thought that the recent floods would ease
the tensions between the Governor and the unions. Simply put these
guys are pissed off over the governor's veto of the expansion of the
collective bargaining bill, and Culver has made it worse by blowing
these guys off.

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Battleground Iowa: Does Des Moines have an image problem? Smoking and tattoos in the news

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

So, I was carousing the web this morning for some juicy news tidbits,
and I came across a couple stories that, by themselves aren't too
remarkable, but read together, are a little ironic. The first was a
story about how the anti-smoking ban crowd is whining yet again.
Surprising, I know. Now they are saying that the smoking ban is bad
because it forces smokers outside into the public where they can be
seen on city sidewalks and parking lots. They say this might be bad
for our image. The funny thing is that, implicit in that argument is
an acknowledgement that smoking is a dirty, disgusting, undesirable
habit. Hmmm… maybe this problem could be solved if PEOPLE QUIT
SMOKING. But no, their solution to this image problem is to let
smokers back inside to cover up our dirty little habit.

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Iowa Insider: Tom Harkin shelling out cash to Dem legislators

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is giving $7,000 each to two Oskaloosa Democrats
for their re-election campaigns -- State Sen. Tom Rielly and State
Rep. Eric Palmer. Winners were chosen by a vote on Harkin's Web site
as a part of his "Building Blue" campaign to increase Democratic
majorities in the Iowa Legislature. More than 6,000 Harkin supporters
voted.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Uncommon Blog of Iowa: Unions miss Big Lug

Excerpted from this post at The Uncommon Blog of Iowa

In a Des Moines Register article today it discussed how the labor
unions of Iowa miss their typical control over liberal Democratic
state politicians when it comes to Gov. Chester Culver. I feel that is
a good thing. Gov. Culver might be playing politics and staying away
from the pandering crowd of labor unions, but I see no problem. Okay,
I see a problem. The problem is that he will still be friends to them,
because they give him money, but he wants to be far enough away so
that he can seem like a centrist, two-term or more governor. Let's
face it, Gov. Culver likes being governor. Especially after all the
news coverage of how well Iowa handled the floods and aftermath.

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Iowa Independent: Culver asks EPA to deny renewable fuels waiver

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen
Johnson, Gov. Chet Culver is urging the agency to deny the request of
Texas Gov. Rick Perry to waive the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard,
which helps to subsidize ethanol. Culver said waiving the Renewable
Fuels Standard would not help reduce corn prices or food prices, which
was one of the reasons cited by Perry for making the request, but it
would have a very negative effect on the development of advanced
biofuels and on future national energy security. "Critics have been
blaming ethanol for the recent rise in food prices, but in fact a
complex set of factors have contributed to those increases in the U.S.
and around the world," Culver's letter said.

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John Deeth Blog: Obama acceptance speech at stadium sets bar a mile high

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

When the Democrats scheduled the finale of their 2008 national
convention for Aug. 28, it's unlikely anyone anticipated the historic
synchronicity of dates. Sure, Barack Obama had established himself as
a rising star and the orator of his generation, with his 2004
convention speech. But even Obama himself was saying that 2008 might
be a little early for a presidential run. However, "the urgency of
now" took precedence, and the 2008 convention is now Obama's. In a
parallel we'll hear over and over and over again, the first
African-American presidential nominee will give his acceptance speech
on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream"
speech. Talk about setting expectations high.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Eichhorn: Champion of Iowa's smokers

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

I guess if you can't represent Iowa, the next best thing is
representing Iowa's smokers. It appears that former U.S. Senate
candidate George Eichhorn, who lost the GOP primary by a narrow margin
to Christopher Reed, has found a new pass time with which to occupy
his time. He's suing the state on behalf of bar owners to challenge
the smoking ban. Eichhorn (who is a picture of health) and his clients
want a judge to issue an injunction prohibiting the state from
enforcing the smoking ban until the courts have an opportunity to rule
on the merits of their case.

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Politically Speaking: Four Dems make national delegation

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Four Northwest Iowa Democrats have made the cut to be delegates to the
Democratic National Convention held Aug. 25-28 in Denver. The Iowa
delegation is made up of 57 delegates who will make a presidential
choice. Others will also be involved in platform committee decisions.
Seven of the 57 delegates are under age 25, including one from Sioux
City who has to be among the youngest. Merci Wolff, daughter of former
Woodbury County Democratic Party chairwoman Teresa Wolff, just
graduated from West High School and now finds herself a national
delegate.

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Essential Estrogen: Two Agriprocessors officials indicted for encouraging illegal immigration

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

A Third Supervisor at Postville Plant Remains At Large... While two
supervisors from Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in
Postville, were arrested this week in connection with a May 12
immigration raid at the plant and appeared in federal court, a third
remains on the run. As originally reported by Iowa Independent, Hosam
Amara is believed to have fled the jurisdiction. Amara, according to
former plant workers, was the master-mind behind a car sales scheme
that encouraged undocumented workers to purchase used cars and
fraudulently register them. Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, and
Martin De La Rosa-Loera, 43, have become the first two members of the
company's management team to face charges since the May raid.

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Krusty Konservative: I'll take a pass on the McCain-Romney ticket

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

There has been a lot of chatter this week about Mitt Romney being on
the top of McCain's short list of potential running mates. The most
obvious reason for tabbing Romney is money, and you can't spell Romney
with out a m-o-n-e & y. I've read some reports that think Romney alone
could raise $60M for the ticket, and impressive number no doubt, but I
find this line of thinking to be intellectually lazy. I find it a
little hard to believe that Romney would be able to raise that sort of
money when he was unable to raise those types of dollars for his own
campaign, even during the summer and fall of 2007 when he was the
klear front runner for the Republican nomination.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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